Northern Council Allies with Logging Companies for Safer Streets

A deal has been struck with forestry company, Northland Forest Managers, to restrict the hours its trucks will be allowed to drive through residential Kerikeri streets.

The deal was proposed as part of the Far North District Council (FNDC) strategy to address concerns Kerikeri residents have about the influx of trucks entering the town’s main streets. It was deliberated upon during a strategy meeting over the FNDC’s Long Term Plan 2018-28.  

John Carter, Mayor of Kerikeri, says residents in the area had been experiencing higher congestion and a number are worried about what impact the logging trucks from nearby private woodlots may have on the town’s traffic.

"I want to assure residents their concerns are being treated seriously and that considerable behind-the-scenes work is already underway to minimise the impact of logging traffic."

Carter says that although other roading projects had been altered or delayed in the Long Term Plan these projects would be funded and will be announced officially when the transport strategy is finalised.

"We will consult with communities on the District Transport Strategy and it will become part of the Annual Plan 2019/20, due to be finalised next year," says Carter.

In the meantime, the deal struck with Northland Forest Managers will restrict the hours its trucks will be allowed to drive through residential streets in Kerikeri.

Northland Forest Managers will begin extracting logs from privately owned woodlots this month. It says that there will be a maximum of five truck movements a day and that the logs will be transported out to State Highway 10 using the least intrusive route possible.  

The Council has also negotiated time restrictions on the truck movements. The trucks will be unable to operate on residential streets before 9am or after 2:30pm as this is the busiest time of the day, especially for parents dropping off and picking up schoolchildren.  The company has also agreed to restrict its vehicles to 30kmph on residential streets.

Other forestry operators in the area, such as P F Olsen, have also agreed to the same restrictions, pleasing both the council and residents.

Carter says the agreements aim to keep children safe during busy hours as well as reduce congestion and noise. He also recognises the vital role forestry and transport play in Northland.

"We are holding regular meetings with forestry companies, several of which will be operating in forests and private woodlots that will require logging truck access through the Kerikeri township in coming years. I want to commend PF Olsen and Northland Forest Managers for working with the Council to reduce the negative impacts their activities may have on residents,” says Carter.

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